The Future Has Arrived

RS Automotive, a full service station in Takoma Park, Maryland, located near Washington DC is the first gas station in the USA to remove their gas pumps and replace them with electric vehicle charging stations.

RS Automotive has been a local gas station since 1958 and on September 26, 2019, it converted from a petroleum station to an EV charging station. The current owner since 1997 (Depeswar Doley), has been frustrated with the oil company’s structured contracts and started talking about going 100% EV charging.

Depeswar’s 17-year old daughter convinced him to make the switch because it’s good for the environment. His daughter’s enthusiasm for switching to battery operated vehicles is shared by young people around the world, as a way to combat climate change. Swedish 16-year old activist Greta Thunberg recently, gave an impassioned speech at the United Nations castigating adults for not doing enough to fight greenhouse emissions. She reportedly arrived in New York from England on a Solar powered boat and was nominated and became the favorite to win the Noble Peace Prize. She didn’t win; it was awarded to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia for de-escalating tensions with neighboring Eritrea.

RS Automotive retrofitted their gas station with the help of a $786,000 grant from the Electric Vehicle Institute and the Maryland Energy Administration. There are a number of other grants available such as this one for anybody looking to take on similar projects.

The station is also a full service repair shop with services including disposing of and replacing battery packs. It is the repair and maintenance operations that will allow the company to succeed financially. It will only have four charging stations that will take 30 minutes to recharge each vehicle while the drivers wait in the convenience store. While it is not a high volume, high profit endeavor, Governor Larry Hogan stated, “This thing is so new, we don’t know what’s going to happen. It might flop, or it might work out- we have no clue at all. We’re just crossing our fingers, and in the back of my mind, I know this is something good for the environment.”

To really see the future of electric vehicles, I suggest you drive one from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. I am planning on driving the Tesla Model X with Autopilot, and stop at the Supercharger station located on the site of a former Shell gas station, at 71808 Baker Blvd, Baker, California. There are 40 chargers with pull through stalls making it easier for Tesla’s that are pulling a trailer. I am going to use the one way Tesla rental supplied by Tesloop. You reserve the Tesla at least 7 days ahead and won’t be charged until your request is approved and reviewed by a Tesloop Concierge, only after you are comfortable with the car and it’s Autopilot feature. The rates start at $59.00 per person for a one way rental, not including insurance.

You could also alternatively fly to China and visit the worlds biggest Supercharging Station located in the garage of the Lilacs International Commercial center, Shanghai, China, it has 50 stalls. The most relaxing location seems to be the one in Kettleman City, California. Don’t worry your Tesla screen will show you turn by turn directions as you travel on Interstate 5 in California from Los Angeles to San Francisco. It has 40 stalls featuring a lounge that is open 24/7 with food and “craft beverages”, free Wi-Fi and phone plug-in alongside the plush armchairs and a Tesla apparel shop, play area for kids and lots of toilets. The 40 stalls are covered by Solar Panels that power the Superchargers. There are a number of grants available for solar panel projects both residential and for organizations.

About the Author: Jake Tewel holds a Masters Degree from YU, a wine seller, caterer and a million miler for the past 15 years. Jake is a best friend, great neighbor, your go to travel person, father, grandfather and loving husband. He is now focusing his efforts on heart healthy nutrition, exercise and travel.

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